The importance and necessity of exercise in our daily lives is often forgotten, especially here in the Middle East. This is evident in our health-related statistics like the high rate of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and the list goes on. Our lifestyle does not help either. Additionally, because of the hot climate, we are heavily reliant on transportation. Unfortunately, we do not get to walk around as much as people living in more seasonably fair environments do. That, coupled with the way our lives revolve around food, is a disaster.

As we need to find alternatives that keep us active and healthy, I urge you to spend a day with your mother, friends and toddlers, sharing with them simple exercises that they can do on a daily basis, both indoors and outdoors, even on their own - like these:

1. Go for a walk : Make it a family thing. You have a set date where you visit your mom with your toddler? Perfect. Make it a walking one. Take your toddler outdoors, along with their grandmother and have a brisk walk around the park or neighborhood. Find a pace suitable for all. You can then do sprints back and forth to get your heart rate up!

2. Squats : Simple, but effective. It can be scaled up or down. Your toddlers can also do this move, no problem. To increase intensity, you can squat lower, or even add weights to increase intensity. Your mom can use a chair behind her to make it easier and have a set limit so as not to overexert herself.

3. Arm Raises : Buy a set of dumbbells, they don’t need to be heavy, and have everyone do some arm raises. They can be done anywhere, anytime, even without weights, and will really help with toning and mobility.

4. Leg Raises : Make a game out of this with your toddler. You can do them with or without weights. As for your mom, have her stabilize by holding a chair or table.

5. Chair Stands : This will definitely help everyone with building balance. Get some armless chairs, and start in a seated position. Keeping your back and shoulders straight, extend your arms parallel to the ground and slowly stand up, without using your hands. And repeat. You can definitely increase the level of this movement by adding weights or doing fast, explosive movements.

Good health is the greatest gift you can give your family so don’t be afraid to share it!

For nutritional tips to complement the above exercises, read about the 8 nutritional tips that will help you keep up with your fitness goals